My worst week of the season began on a bad note, as I missed the Thursday and Friday night games. The highlight was my pick for Michigan State to get in the way of Ohio State's national championship trek. I've been a Spartan fan all year, so at least that faith was vindicated. Next up is the crazy bowl season, always tough to pick.
Last week: 5 - 5
Overall: 210 - 72
(19) Louisville (10 - 1) 21 @ Cincinnati (9 - 2) 23: Well, it took overtime for me to lose this one. Louisville pulled it out to go 11 - 1. Now they get to take on Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl, which should be a pretty good game. No. 31 - 24 OT.
MAC Championship Game, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan: Bowling Green (9 - 3) 20 vs. (14) Northern Illinois (12 - 0) 24: I was tempted to take Bowling Green in this game, but Northern Illinois had found a way to win all season. Well, not this time. No. 27 - 47.
(20) Duke (10 - 2) 20 vs. (1) Florida State (12 - 0) 34, ACC Championship Game, Charlotte, NC: No surprise in this one as the 'Noles prepared for the BCS championship game by drilling the over-matched Blue Devils. Auburn's offense won't be so easy to stop in the Rose Bowl on January 6, but I don't see the Tigers being able to slow down Florida State's explosive offense much. We'll get to that pick when I do my bowl predictions. Correct. 45 - 7.
(2) Ohio State (12 - 0) 24 vs. (10) Michigan State (11 - 1) 27, Big Ten Championship Game, Indianapolis, IN: Michigan State's fourth quarter comeback ended the Buckeyes' 24 game winning streak and their hopes at a national championship. The Spartans' defense played up to form, sending them to the Rose Bowl. Correct. 24 - 34.
(5) Missouri (11 - 1) 30 vs. (3) Auburn (11 - 1) 27, SEC Championship Game, Atlanta, GA: Missouri's defense, which I thought could contain Auburn, seemed to be overwhelmed by the Auburn offensive onslaught. For three quarters this was an incredible game, but then Missouri was unable to sustain their offensive momentum. It may be a different story for Auburn in Pasadena come January. No. 42 - 59.
(17) Oklahoma (9 - 2) 24 at (6) Oklahoma State (10 - 1) 30: Baylor can't seem to overcome Oklahoma State and Oklahoma State can't seem to overcome Oklahoma, but Baylor is the Big 12 winner. OSU had a lot to gain by winning on Saturday, but just couldn't get it done against the Sooners. No. 33 - 24.
(7) Stanford (10 - 2) 27 at (11) Arizona State (10 - 2) 31, Stanford flexed its defensive muscle in Tempe against the Sun Devils and found an offense that had been missing for much of the season to make it to the Rose Bowl against Michigan State, another team with defensive muscle. No. 38 - 14.
(25) Texas (8 - 3) 37 at (9) Baylor (10 - 1) 42: The Bears took care of Texas and will take on UCF in the Fiesta Bowl. The Longhorns, who fell to 8 - 4, will take on Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl. The fate of Texas coach Mack Brown is still unknown, even though Texas can buy him out for a paltry $2.75 million by the end of 2014. My guess is he gets one more season, then the graciously resigns. The new AD gets no points with future coaches if he cans the second most tenured coach in FBS after they finished within one game of a Big 12 title and BCS bowl game. Correct. 10 - 30.
(16) UCF (10 - 1) 27 at SMU (5 - 6) 17: UCF wasn't impressive, but they'll face Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl, a pretty good matchup in the desert. The Knights finished off an impressive season, but they'll have a lot to handle with Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Correct. 17 - 14.
Utah State (8 - 4) 31 at (23) Fresno State (10 - 1) 38, Mountain West Championship Game: I picked the spread in this game, but figured there would be more scoring before it was over. Now, for the first time all season, Fresno State will have to play a top, BCS conference team in USC in the Las Vegas Bowl. Good luck with that. Correct. 24 - 17.